KOTA KINABALU, Nov 23 — Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal reckons that what Malaysia already has, including the practice of religious tolerance and mutual respect among the different races, is good enough for the country.
He said there was no need to come up with something that could create problems to the point of arousing feelings of suspicion and uneasiness among the multi-racial and multi-religious community in Malaysia, in general, and Sabah, in particular.
“In Malaysia, no one is denied the right to practise their religion. In Islam, it (is taught that we do not deny others from practising their religion).
“Islam is a blessing for everyone. The practice of different religions is normal in Malaysia. So, there should be no doubts here,” he told reporters after Indonesian ambassador to Malaysia, Rusdi Kirana paid him a courtesy call at his office today.
He was asked to comment on the government’s decision not to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).
Hence, it is appropriate for Malaysia to defend its Constitution, which gives freedom to its people to practise their own religion without any interference or obstacle.
He said there had never been any incident of people from a particular religion threatening the safety of others because of religious differences in Malaysia, especially in Sabah.
Instead, he added, people of different faiths in Sabah always helped one another.
“Use ICERD in other countries where there are religious conflicts. We in Malaysia, in Sabah, live peacefully, there are no differences,” he said. — Bernama